You can hear Ross in conversation with Niamh from 12 noon and 12 midnight on Saturday and 6pm on Monday.
Niamh Ni Charra hails from Killarney, County Kerry in the south west of Ireland. Strongly influenced by the wealth of local Sliabh Luachra musicians, she started playing music at the early age of 4, under the tutelage of well known local musician Nicky McAuliffe. Equally talented on fiddle and concertina, she has won numerous awards, including Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Oireachtas, and Slogadh Naisiunta and has represented Ireland at folk festivals in Britain and France. Somewhat of a child prodigy, she had support gigs for The Chieftains, and Noel Hill under her belt before she reached her teens.
Despite this rich background, she put aside her music to persue a career in Electronic Engineering. After graduating with honours, Niamh was employed by an Irish software company who regularly sent her on business trips to Boston. Here she was exposed to a continuous flow of Irish musicians (Arcady, Sharon Shannon, Nomos) as well as locally based musicians (Paddy Keenan , Seamus Connolly, Tommy McCarthy).
The draw of the music proved too strong, and Niamh decided to resign from work to persue a career in music. She moved to Cork to take a year-long course in ‘Music, Management, and Sound’ at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa, where she graduated with distinctions in every subject – the only student ever to have achieved this feat. The college subsequently awarded her “Musician of the Year”. She swiftly followed this with recordings for Irish radio and television, and performances with Riverdance ‘s european troupe in Europe, Asia and on board the QE2, before joining the U.S. troupe in 1998. Niamh performed with Riverdance from that date until December 2005, touring with them in North America. From Mexico to Vancouver, and Los Angeles to Broadway, New York, Niamh has delighted audiences with her fiery fiddling, fancy footwork and dazzling smiles. More recently she shared her talents in Riverdance’s Irish and Far East productions performing in her native capital as well as the more exotic locations of Tokyo and Taipei among others.
Niamh has returned to Dublin, Ireland where she is working as a freelance musician, regularly gigging accross the city. She has taught both fiddle and concertina at Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann’s national headquaters, An Culturlann in Monkstown, and regularly gives workshops. She released her debut album “Ón Dá Thaobh / From Both Sides” in 2007 to much critical acclaim – apart from many great reviews, Niamh´s album was the only Irish album to be listed in Mojo´s Top Ten Folk Albums for 2007. She was also presented with the “Best Traditional Music Act” award, 2008, by The Irish World – the largest newspaper for the Irish community in Britain. She is a member of the Carlos Nunez band and tours both with them and as a solo artist.